The judges of the Irish Times Best Day Out in Ireland competition 2015 selected the Barrow Way as one of the top five finest and impressive visitor attractions in the country.
The Barrow Way follows the towpath, originally a patch alongside the River Barrow where horses pulled barges and goods for transport. Nowadays, visitors can enjoy excellent flat walking, passing good land where tillage and cattle farming is predominant. The path offers much of architectural interest to the visitor. The full length of the Barrow Way from Robertstown to St. Mullins is 113km.
STAGE 1 of the Barrow Way starts in Robertstown, County Kildare and a distance of 23km takes you to Monasterevin. The raised banks of the canal offer beautiful vistas of the surrounding countryside with views of the Hill of Allen and the Wicklow Mountains.
STAGE 2 covers the stretch from Monasterevin to Athy – 23km. This stretch offers the visitor much of historical and architectural interest with many old bridges and houses.
STAGE 3 runs from Athy to Carlow – 19km. Starting from the heritage town of Athy, the route passes many interesting lifting bridges and old mills before reaching Carlow town.
STAGE 4 Carlow to Bagenalstown – 16km. Milford, 7km south of Carlow is one of the most attractive stretches along the River Barrow. Set in an idyllic location with three bridges, mill buildings and a large wooded area, it is famous as an triangle with regular spottings of herons and kingfishers. This stretch of walk is rich with historical buildings and castles and industrial gems in the town of Bagenalstown.
STAGE 5 takes the walker from Bagenalstown to Graiguenamanagh – 26km. This route passes the pretty villages of Goresbridge and Borris before ending in Graiguenamanagh, a picturesque abbey town and a popular boating centre. Overlooking the River Barrow is Duiske Abbey founded by Norman monks from Stanley Abbey, Wiltshire in 1204.
STAGE 6 Graiguenamanagh to St. Mullins – 6km. This stretch has beautiful woodland surroundings with a strong ecclesiastical theme in the religious settlement at St. Mullins where the walk ends. Set on a glorious stretch of the Barrow Valley, it includes a picnic area.